The relatively unexplored and untouched Chopta Valley in north east Sikkim is very popular among trekkers as well as people of several faiths. Chopta is famous for its monuments of historical and religious importance — from Chandrashila to the Tungnath Temple and more. It is also home to rare species of animals, plants and birds and welcomes birders as well as trekkers and other adventure sports enthusiasts.
The valley, at 13,200 feet, is a preferred destination for hiking, angling and water sports and the trek from Chopta Valley to Muguthang Valley is considered one of the best. It lies in the Greater Himalayas at 15,500 ft. Trekkers are assured of scenic landscapes with snow-covered mountain peaks on one side and green pine forests and meandering rivers on the other. ALSO SEE Delhi to Chopta Valley, 550 km, 6 towns: A journey to the hills in Uttarakhand
A few kilometers from the valley is the Gurudongmar Lake, considered sacred by both Buddhists and Sikhs. Situated close to the Indo-Tibetan border, the lake is special because a part of it never freezes even in the peak of winter. About nine km from Gurudongmar Lake is the Tso Lhamu Lake which is the source of river Teesta.
The valley can be reached from either Lachen village or Magan via Thangu village, which will take about 45 minutes to an hour by car. Nomadic tribes inhabit the valley during summers.
Thangu Valley is situated at a distance of 30 km from Lachen and is a very beautiful place with lush greenery. The annual summer Yak race is quite popular with tourists.
While here, visit the Lachen Gompa and witness the simple lives of the Lachenpas.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CHOPTA VALLEY
Lachen is the best place to stay in the Chopta Valley since it has lodges and guest houses maintained by the Forest Department as well as PWD bungalows. Though tourist accommodation is also available at Thangu, facilities here are very basic. Locals at both villages offer rooms to stay for tourists and it might just be the best way to experience their culture.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN CHOPTA VALLEY
Most of the guesthouses offer simple Nepali, Indian and Tibetan food. Tibetan momos and noodles are quite popular and easily available here. The hotels at Lachen serve simple and good food. Do try the delicious Lopchu, a sweet dish made from milk and sugar. If you like alcohol, try the local millet beer known as Tongba or Chang.